Effects of subtypes of reappraisal on positive and negative affect

  • M. Oikawa
  • A. Nakano


Reappraisal is one of the most effective strategies for regulating affect. It has been suggested that reappraisal has some subtypes. However, the effects of the subtypes of the strategies on affect have not been investigated in detail. We focused on the reappraisal subtypes of “positive reappraisal” and “putting into perspective.” The former pertains to looking for positive aspects of negative events, while the latter refers to the weakening of the importance of the negative event and emphasizing on its relativity through comparing the event with worse events or results. We experimentally examined the effects of these two subtypes on negative and positive affect. Participants were 107 undergraduate and graduate students from a Japanese university. They were randomly assigned two conditions, and were instructed to recall a recent negative event and their affect while experiencing that event. Then, they participated in a different reappraisal task for each condition. Both groups completed a questionnaire measuring the following three affects: active positive affect, non-active positive affect, and depression and anxiety. The results of a t-test for the change in affect suggested that positive reappraisal was more effective in enhancing active positive affect and in reducing depression and anxiety than the strategy of putting into perspective was. There was no significant difference in non-active positive affect, while both groups exhibited improved non-active positive affect after the task.
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